Comments: Utah Censorware Law (HB 260) - subsidy to Religious Right lobbyists?


I may have mentioned to you that I raided the Brookline Public Library for some of their books on the censorship of the movie industry. You have helped me out enough on Civilities, I thought I'd pitch in here.

So, the funding equation provides the state with a rationale that they are not providing a majority of the funding.

The Motion Pictures Production Code went into effect in 1930. This is from Frank Walsh's 1996 Sin and Censorship: Joe Breen asked Will Hays for $50,000 to advertise the introduction of the Code in Catholic newspapers, but this was not really needed. Breen just contacted many of the newspapers personally, and half of them endorsed the Code.

Now, what were the annual budgets of the Hays Office take in? Can't find that, but in Murry Schumach's 1964 The Face on the Cutting Room Floor, he came up with a current figure that the movie industry paid $1.5M in censorship fees to the government, and not all of this went to salaries. An unnamed governor explained that the censorship jobs went to political sensors who worked "without salary or fee, they enjoy the authority." Or maybe they just enjoyed seeing the movies uncut.

So on that point... I might suggest that a group called "GrooveOn" or something create an ad contest. I think that these can be artfully done.


Posted by Jon Garfunkel at March 24, 2005 09:42 PM

Brilliant as usual, Seth. I'd stopped reading Infothought for a while due to my RSS reader becoming nagware and my real life taking over, and when I come back I'm greeted with all sorts of great analysis of the Utah bill that I'd heard about. Very interesting indeed. Keep it up. (Oh, and "this is your brain on Internet pornography" just about made me fall off my chair laughing).

Posted by Dave at March 27, 2005 02:04 PM